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Last Updated 14.08.2022 | 11:30 PM IST
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R. Kelly sentenced to 30 years in prison for sexually abusing women and children

Bollywood News

Hollywood singer R. Kelly, who was convicted last year in sex trafficking case after several survivors came forward with stories of abuse, was sentenced to 30 years in prison in a New York court on Wednesday.

R. Kelly sentenced to 30 years in prison for sexually abusing women and children

According to Variety, the 55-year-old R&B singer was convicted of racketeering and eight counts of violating the Mann Act, which prohibits transporting people across state lines for prostitution. He has been in jail since July of 2019; 45 witnesses testified for the government. He still faces child pornography and obstruction of justice charges in Chicago, as well as charges in state courts in Illinois and Minnesota.

Ahead of his sentencing, a handful of women took the stand to confront R Kelly. The first victim to take the stand was Angela, who stood at a lectern and looked directly at Kelly as she spoke, according to the New York Times, calling him a Pied Piper who lured children with his money and fame. “With every addition of a new victim, you grew in wickedness. You used your fame and power to groom and coach underage boys and girls for your own sexual gratification,” she said.

“We are no longer the preyed-upon individuals we once were. Pray that god reaches your soul,” she said. A second victim, Addie, said she regrets keeping silent for decades about her 1990s experience with Kelly, because “the last four years have been a rude awakening of how my silence has hurt others.” Lizette Martinez said in her impact statement, “I do not know how to put a price on all I’ve gone through. I am now 45, a mother and I struggle with mental health.”

Looking directly at R Kelly, who did not return her stare as the report notes, she said, “Robert, you destroyed so many people’s lives.” Another, identified as “Jane Doe No. 2,” said, “I hope you go to jail for the rest of your life.” Prosecutors had asked the judge to sentence Kelly, 55, to more than 25 years behind bars, while his defense attorneys asked for 10 or fewer, saying prosecutors' request was "tantamount to a life sentence."

Kelly was found guilty of all nine counts against him in September, after a six-week trial revealed how he had used employees and intermediaries to lure fans and hopeful singers into sexually abusive and controlling conditions, including locking them in rooms without food or access to a bathroom for days. Kelly, who wore black eyeglasses and a khaki shirt, largely kept his head down during the hearing, according to the Times, occasionally looking up at the judge or a witness.

US District Judge Ann Donnelly said the celebrity had used sex as a weapon, forcing his victims to do unspeakable things and saddling some with sexually transmitted diseases. "You taught them that love is enslavement and violence," she said. The court heard how Kelly used his influence to lure women and children into sexual abuse over two decades. After the sentencing Kelly will likely be transferred to Chicago, where he faces an August trial on child pornography and obstruction charges.

Also Read: Singer R. Kelly convicted of racketeering, human trafficking, child pornography and kidnapping


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